Saturday, March 17, 2012

Colored Solar Lanterns

These were a cute little project that I did last summer.  At the end of the summer, target had these little solar garden lights on clearance so I bought a couple.  I took them apart so all I had left was the light.  Then I glued the light onto the ring part of a mason jar lid.  I colored the mason jars with Mod Podge (Mod Podge + water + food coloring in the jar so the inside is coated, then drain off the extra and let dry; you can speed up the drying process by putting them in a very low temp oven).  Put the lid on the jar and that’s it. 

IMG_2228

It was hard to get a good picture of them but there were really nice.  They didn’t give off a lot of light so they were really just for decoration.  I used the outdoor Mod Podge and they held up okay after a little rain but when we had a big storm, they kind of got ruined because I left them outside.  Whoops.

IMG_2233

Friday, March 16, 2012

Things I Like: Beer




So originally I wrote a post about Boulevard's Chocolate Ale, but it got to be really long and by the end I realized that was kind of silly because you can't even hardly find Chocolate Ale anymore.  So instead, I decided to do a post about different beers that I like.  As an introduction, we like to drink beer at our house.  And we don't like cheap beer.  And we like to try new things.  I have very girly tastes in beer, meaning I don't like anything that is too "beery" most of the time (my tastes are expanding but I leave the really beery stuff to Alex).  So if you are looking for something new to drink, here is what I recommend.

My go-to beer is Boulevard's Unfiltered Wheat.  It is easy to drink and served with a lemon.  Here is how Boulevard describes it as "a lively, refreshing ale with a natural citrusy flavor and distinctive cloudy appearance."  Its their best selling beer and even most of our Miller Light loving friends will drink it.

If I'm not drinking a Boulevard, my other two favorite wheat beers are Shock Top's Belgium Wheat and Blue Moon.  I think that Blue Moon is a little less sweet than Shock Top but they are both served with an orange slice.  Shock Top is an Anheuser-Busch product so you should be able to get it anywhere that sells anything than domestics.
 


I happen to really like fruit beers.  They tend to be sweeter and easy to drink.  Shock Top's Raspberry Wheat is good so is Leinenkugel's Berry Weis.  The Berry Weis is really good if you mix it with  Leinenkugel's Summer Shandy. If you are from Kansas City, 75th Street Brewery has a nice Raspberry Wheat and you can get it at most KC Hopps restaurants.
  I recently tried Shock Top's new Wheat IPA.  Its a strange thing to think of if you know anything about beer, but it is actually really nice.  A nice bridge between a wheat and an IPA.
I think that is enough for one day.  I'll do another post with more of my recommendations soon.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

In Which I Resolve to Make a Change

For something that won't be very long and that most people won't care about, this post has been a long time coming.  I think I've drafted it either on paper or in my head about 20 times.  There are a lot of reasons why this post, and others to come, are important, and there is one reason why I have been reluctant to post it--I don't want to. For a lot of people, this may seem like no big deal, but for me, I'm really stepping out of my comfort zone.  I'm a very private person and don't like to share things that to me seem like a weakness (aka not having it all together, which I know rationally is not a weakness, but one cannot be rational with all things).

I need to lose weight.  I don't really remember that my weight was ever a big negative in my life until, surprise surprise, I started law school (I blame a lot of the negatives in my life on law school).  Basically, in the midst of being super busy and super stressed, being healthy got away from me.  Then in my post law school/bar exam binge, all I wanted to do was enjoy my self and not worry about anything.  And I didn't worry about what I was putting into my body until I had to start worrying about how my jeans didn't fit.  Recently I finally have said enough is enough and am determined to make changes.


The thing that sucks is that this is going to be hard.  I don't want to go on a diet.  Because diets are really only a short term solution.  And if it is only going to work for one or three or six months, I don't really want to bother.  I want to make healthy lifestyle changes.  I want to take it off and leave it off. So why am I blogging about this when I just told you I didn't want to?  Goals are no good if you don't share them, if you don't have any accountability.  So by forcing myself to write it down and reflect out in the open, I can help myself not give up.



So here goes:

Current Weight: 182 lbs
Ultimate Goal: Weight between 130-135 on February 25, 2013 (my 27th birthday)

Mini Goal #1: 170 lbs by April 15
Mini Reward #1: New dress for Alex's cousin's wedding

Action Steps:
1. Read and follow Full-Filled by Renee Stephens
2. Read and follow The Flex Diet by James Beckerman
3. Weight and track every five days (dates that end in 5 and 0)
4. Walk a marathon in March.

Deep breath.  That wasn't so bad.  I'll check back in a few days and let you know how things are going.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Big Girl Tutus

My friend’s big girls (10 and 12) wanted tutus for Christmas.  I let them pick the colors and got to work.  Tutus are fun because they are super easy to customize.  I actually re-used the tulle from my Halloween costume.  I wasn’t sure how long to make them and didn’t get a chance to measure the girls, so I guess.  Here is what I came up with:
IMG_6553
IMG_6554
I wanted them to be a little more full, so I used white Dollar Tree tulle for the bottom layer and did their colors of choice as the top layer.  The tulle isn’t quite as bright when you get it off the spool so I added some ribbon to brighten them up.
IMG_6555
I know some people use elastic for the waistband but I prefer ribbon because it is easier to make them bigger or smaller.  That way as the kids grow, the tutu can grow with them. 
IMG_6552

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Etched Picture Frame

Alex's sister is living in Connecticut right now so for Christmas we wanted to give her a little something to remind her of home.  Glass etching is one of my favorite things to do so I decided to do a picture frame with a quote etched on it.  It is really hard to photograph etched glass, so hopefully you can see it at least a little bit.

IMG_6543

The quote says “there’s no place like home” because well, I’m from Kansas, so Wizard of Oz was a natural choice.  I cut the stencil on my Cricuit using contact paper.  You could use vinyl but contract paper is way cheaper.  Then put the stencil on the glass.   I figured out where I wanted it while the class was still in the frame then took it out to actually place the stencil and put the etching cream on.  I leave the etching cream on for longer than than say because (1) I want to make sure the etching is really clear and (2) I tend to forget I am doing it.  After the etching is done, I like to scrape as much etching cream back into the jar as I can.  That way a jar lasts a lot longer because that stuff isn’t cheap.  Also, if when you wash the etching cream off and it seems like it didn’t work, don’t freak out.  It should look a lot clearer when it dries.

Here is the final product.  The picture is one I look of the family right before Bridget left last fall.

IMG_6542

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

My Diamond Sisters

Have you given up on my already?  I know its been a slow start.  I’ve been sickly (well actually I’ve been sickly for a couple of weeks now and I just can’t seem to kick it) and a little overwhelmed by everything I need and/or want to do.  For a while I didn’t do much besides study so I have a to do list that is a mile long.  So bear with me a while longer, okay? 

I started scrapbooking in college when my grandma got me a bunch of stuff for Christmas with my sorority letters, including a scrapbook.  One of my favorite scrapbooks that I have been working on is one where each page is devoted to someone important to me.  It usually only has one picture of that person and myself and never fails to make me smile.

Here are two pages from that scrapbook.  In my sorority, each new member is assigned an older member to be a mentor and friend.  They are called diamond sisters or diamond babies, but the latter isn’t pc because we are all equals so we weren’t supposed to use mom-dot titles.  But we did anyway.

DSCN3217

Sarah was my first diamond sister.  She joined at the end of her freshman and my sophomore year.  We didn’t get to spend a ton of time together because I was gone the whole next year, but she is a wonderful woman and I love her dearly.

The base of this page is two pieces of paper (the green and the strip).  The letters are chipboard and came blue and sparkly.  I put little scraps of ribbon under the diamond with her name on it to add some dimension.

DSCN3234

Jessica was my other diamond sister.  She joined at the beginning of her freshman and my senior year.  She ended up not being really involved in the sorority but I was still glad that she was my diamond sister.

This page is all paper and stickers.  The pictures are mounted on a piece of blue paper and behind that is strips of different blue papers.  (Our colors are blue and white hence the extensive use of blue).  The words are all stickers.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Glitter + Chalkboard + Goodness

I love decorating with pictures. I really like being surrounded by all of our wonderful memories.

I ordered these raw picture frames online (I think the we're from Pick Your Plum). They were originally meant to be Christmas gifts for some friends but that group of friends decided to draw names for Christmas and we ended up with two boys. And boys do not appreciate picture frames.

Also around that time I discovered one of my new favorite products. It is called Glitter Blast and it is made by Krylon and it might just be the best thing since sliced bread. It is like spay paint but instead of paint it is glitter. 



The frames were easy to paint because they are actually two pieces. I stuck the bases in one box and used a spray chalkboard paint.

I used red and teal Glitter Blast because those are the colors of my kitchen. (I had a friend point out that those colors are awfully close to crimson and blue which happen to be the colors of a certain university. I am sure that is just a coincidence.) I practiced on this guy to hone my technique.

The most important thing I learned is that you really don't want to spay to close. It looks worse wet than dry but it still doesn't look good dry if you have drips and globs. Also, if you want it to be really bright you either have to use a whole lot of glitter or paint the base a matching color before you use the glitter.


See, he has some drips and globs on his hip.  Poor guy.

I gave everything I had glittered a good clear coat to avoid any potential shedding. Then all I had to do was pop some pictures in and I was done. I love that it adds a little sparkle to the room without being too girly or over the top.  I also like that they are easy to change.  Since the frames are actually two pieces, they can for horizontal or vertical pictures.  And I can erase the bases over and over again.  Here are a few pictures of the finished products.



Friday, March 2, 2012

Oh the Places You’ll Go

Tower Bridge 6

Tower Bridge, London, England

I love to travel and have been very blessed to have been able to visit a lot of different places.  I hope you enjoy this snapshot of the world!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Welcome!

Welcome to my new blogging adventure.  I used to blog over at Crafty Project Girl, but ended up taking an unplanned four month blogging sabbatical.  I missed blogging a whole lot and did a lot of thinking about what direction I wanted to go.  All that thinking lead me (and you) here.  Since we are all new here, let me introduce myself and tell you a little about what I have planned for this blog. 

My name is Courtney and I live in Kansas City.  During the day I practice law with a small firm.  I have always wanted to be a lawyer (its still a little surreal to think that I have achieved that goal), but a while back  I realized that I needed a right brained outlet to go along with my left brained day job.  I love to create and after I stumbled upon the creative blogging community, I got hooked.  I love sharing what I have made with others and I really love to see what other people have created.  I find everyone in the creative blogging community to be so inspiring.  I am hooked on Pinterest and spend way too much time there!

The nice thing about having a blog is that you get to write about whatever you want.  I have done some scheduling and most of my posts will be from the following categories:

  • Crafts
  • Travel
  • Recipes
  • Stuff I Like
  • Scrapbooking
  • 101 Things in 1001 Days
  • D├ęcor and Organizing
  • What I Think
  • Tips & Tricks
  • Weight Loss

I’m hoping to most most, if not all days, but I might need a little bit to get going like that.  I hope you will bear with me and enjoy what I have to share.